Let's get real for a minute. We all know that blood is important, like really important. It courses through our veins and keeps us alive, but did you know that it can also be the perfect breeding ground for infection? That's right! Your blood may look crystal clear on the outside, but inside, bacteria and other nasty microbes could be doing a little party dance.
Okay, maybe not quite that extreme...but still pretty bad! So buckle up folks because today we are going to dive deep into understanding just what these types of infections are and how we can prevent them from affecting our health.
The Basics: What Are Blood Infections?
As much as we might want to ignore this factoid, when there is an infection in your body - any type at all - bacteria or fungi spread through your bloodstream too. This isn't always life-threatening however if left untreated things take a very different turn...
Blood infections (also known as bacteremia) occur when harmful microorganisms enter your bloodstream which then spreads throughout your whole body. And guess what? It’s nothing to sneeze at!
Symptoms of blood infections include:
- High fever
- Rapid heartbeat
- Difficulty breathing
- Dizziness or confusion
Yikes! That sounds ominous…and count me out thank-you-very-much! Unfortunately though that choice isn't entirely up to me so let's talk about some of the ways people commonly acquire these blighters.
There many reasons why someone could contract a blood infection including things like hospitals / medical procedures, catheters inserted into large veins in people with serious illnesses/conditions (think cancer patients) , drug use or even common bacterial infections such as pesky urinary tract infections (UTIs) . However one thing they almost all have in common is neglecting good hygiene habits.
So maybe it's time to stop and count how many hours of the day you spend on cleanliness? Okay, let's not get too neurotic here but seriously everyone needs to start taking hygiene more seriously!
From surgeries to simple checkups there are all kinds of ways for people to pick up infections while in hospital care, which is why medical facilities put so much stock into their strict disease/nurse protocols.
However, if these practices aren't followed by healthcare professionals (bad nurse / bad doctor!) - illnesses can spread quickly throughout hospitals like...(you know what I'm going to say) wildfire!
Be especially wary when implants or catheters (tubes inserted through a vein leading directly into your bloodstream) have been involved as they create an easy pathway for otherwise harmless bacterium/fungi colonies thriving around wound sites or non-sterile instruments being utilized.
Diagnosing Blood Infection
We’re certainly getting edgy now guys! These conditions almost sound straight out of a horror movie script. The good news however is that blood infections can be diagnosed relatively easily using simple tests including:
- A complete blood test
- Urine and/or saliva sample checks
- Imaging Scans featuring CT-scans and MRI scans/films
- Sometimes doctors will use these machines just...because why not?
Complications & Preventions
If left untreated digestive complications such as chronic diarrhea or constipation could occur due-to bacterial overgrowth/sepsis coupled together with high fever/body temperature spikes.
Here’s how individuals who suffer from recurring blood infection issues can avoid future outbreaks:
- Hygiene upkeep – “Take showers regularly.” Yes mom!
- Clean Wounds ! If one suffers any form of skin puncture wound endeavoring proper washing should initiate without delay in early prevention.
- Your personal space should remain clean too – think laundry machine/diets/counter tops etc.
- Pro tip: Alcohol wipes are an excellent tool to keep around the home
- People shall undergo Screening tests if they feel ill with symptoms persisting for extended periods.
Blood infections can be a scary experience for anyone whether it is oneself or loved one going through this issue.
However, help prevent future incidents by keeping up good daily hygiene habits and steering clear of any unsupervised medicinal apparatus installations (such as catheters). Don't hesitate to seek advice from medical consultants in cases exhibiting worrisome symptoms. In conclusion, always remember that often "an ounce of prevention" has every ability to eviscerate all negatives stemming from these types of infections!